What is the Maltese Islands Festival?


I’ve seen the Maltese Islands Festival logo on my Facebook feed a few times over the past couple of months, but I have to admit, I really wasn’t sure what it as all about until I met Festival Manager, Cathy Lawlor, for a chat. Being new to Malta both in terms of event and format, the Festival is something the Maltese public may not be too familiar with.


In essence, The Maltese Islands Festival is a competition platform for performers or aspiring performers in various disciplines of the arts. It is broken down into categories within the areas of Dance, Drama, Music and Singing. Each area is broken down further: For example, the Dance Category encompasses Classical Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop and more. The Drama section is open to Solo or Group performers, while music is divided according to instrument and genre, and singing also distinguishes between Pop and Classical. Each category is also divided into age groups: ranging from 6 years of age all the way up to adults.


The format of the competition is what I found to be most interesting. All performers make up part of the audience and are called to the stage one at a time to perform their piece, followed by feedback from an international adjudicator. The aim is to give participants a supportive, encouraging atmosphere where they can perform among their peers and receive genuine, constructive feedback about their performance.

The competition element too is quite novel for Malta. Each participant is awarded points. Only anyone receiving in excess of 85 points will be eligible to win a prize for placing in the competition. The aim here is to recognise the standards of performance that are expected within an international forum. In fact, the Festival is part of the British and International Federation of Festivals and so promotes international standards throughout.

The entire event will be taking place at Spazju Kreattiv at St. James Cavalier over three days in December (2nd, 3rd & 4th). Applications for anyone still wanting to participate are open until Tuesday 1st November and all registration fees and forms can be found on the website . Tickets are also available for anyone wishing to attend as a spectator. Contact for ticket information.

This event is endorsed by the Valletta 2018 Foundation.


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